ABC Has 'Black-ish' Prequel About Tracee Ellis Ross' Character In The Works

Amy Feinstein

ABC is hoping that lightning can strike once again for their hit show Black-ish as they have a third show in the works surrounding the Johnson family; this time with a prequel focused on Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross' character).

The Hollywood Reporter says that though it's in the early stages, the team which brought Black-ish and Grown-ish to the small screen is working on an as of yet unnamed show in the mold of Young Sheldon which will address how Rainbow grew up to be Dr. Rainbow Johnson (fun fact, Rainbow's maiden name is also Johnson).

Testing for the idea will start with a Black-ish episode to introduce the concept, most likely with a flashback, but casting has not begun, and writers' deals have yet to be inked.

The first spinoff, Grown-ish, reportedly "skewed too young" for ABC but ended up on another Disney-owned network, Freeform (and also on Hulu) where it has found a happy home.

But this spinoff will not be handled by the show's creator (and Grown-ish creator) Kenya Barris, who left the deal with ABC early and inked a big new deal with Netflix

ABC is hoping to take advantage of the success of the Big Bang Theory spinoff Young Sheldon which covers the story of how Sheldon Cooper came to be Dr. Sheldon Cooper. ABC is hoping to do the same for Dr. Rainbow Johnson.

The #Timesup movement sparked changes where women started speaking openly about what they were getting for various projects and comparing them to their male counterparts.

Ellis Ross went public with the pay difference between herself and Anderson and suggested that maybe she should be in fewer scenes to reflect the pay gap. This sparked new conversations about what Ellis Ross, (a Golden Globe award-winning actor for her role as Rainbow Johnson) would be paid going further.

ABC has not spoken publicly about whether or not this new Black-ish spinoff is part of Ellis Ross' new compensation package, but it seems likely that she would be well compensated for voice-over work on a new show.